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Setting up Questionnaires

The Questionnaires feature in Bonfire allows for a structured way to receive vendor responses for a large number of criteria while displaying the vendor's responses side-by-side.

If you're familiar with Bonfire, then you know that the way projects are typically structured is by creating a set of Requested Document/Data and scoring these documents using a set of criteria (see Requested Information).

There are a few steps to successfully implementing a Questionnaire in your project.

1. Creating your Questionnaire
2. Mapping your Questionnaire
3. Vendor Response Template
4. Editing your Questionnaire 

1. Creating your Questionnaire

A Questionnaire combines the response with the criteria such that each question in a vendor's response is attached to criteria that are scored right in the question. The screenshot below demonstrates:

  • How vendor responses are displayed side-by-side for each question
  • How each question can be scored individually 

Upon filling the response worksheet, the vendor simply uploads the Excel file to Bonfire, and the responses are automatically extracted then displayed side-by-side as shown above.

The rest of the article will go into the details of the 3 steps above.

Adding/Bulk Importing your Questions 

Under the Questionnaires section, click the Create button to launch the Questionnaire creation interface.

Let's take a closer look at the top half of the Questionnaire creation screen.

Note: every single Questionnaire will be auto designated a unique reference number. Bonfire uses this identifier to verify that the vendor is uploading the correct template into the correct slot:

Structurally, a Questionnaire can contain groups of questions called Question Sets. These sets of questions can be broken down further into optional Subsets of questions. 

Below we have a sample Questionnaire in the context that has 2 Question Sets.

Question Set 1 is currently selected and you can see it has 3 Subsets of questions.

You can choose to add questions to your Subsets and Question Sets one-by-one, however, this may not be the most practical method of loading your questions if you have many questions to upload.

Alternatively, you can upload larger quantities of questions into the template by using Bonfire's Bulk Import Questions button.

Below we have some sample questions in an Excel document laid out with 3 columns as follows. We wish to import these questions into our questionnaire:

 We are going to import the above questions using the Bulk Import Questions button:

You can also download a Bulk Import Template. This is helpful if you wish to work offline or have a large number of questions to manage. 

To download the template, simply click on Download Template in the Bulk Import Questions pop-up.

See Questionnaire Fields Definitions.

Bulk Import Questions - Step 1

This step involves us highlighting all the data from our Excel sheet in the example above, copying, then pasting it into the Bulk Import text box as shown below. At this stage do not be overly concerned with how the pasted data does not align nor will it appear to be properly formatted. 

Click the Next Step button to proceed to Step 2...

Bulk Import Questions - Step 2

This step requires you to match the columns of the data you just imported with the existing Questionnaire fields in your template (i.e. Question Sets, Scoring Instructions, Subsets, Question, Points, Vendor Response Options). Do so by clicking on the dropdown boxes and selecting the matching fields from the Questionnaire template. The items available in the dropdown may vary slightly depending on the number of columns imported.

You must have a Question Set, Question, and Points column defined in order to continue the import. 

Once you have matched all your columns, click on the Import button. That's it! You've successfully created your Questionnaire template with your questions. It will be visible under the Questionnaires section where you can access and edit it if necessary.

Pre-defining Points for Auto-scoring Questionnaires (optional)

If you are planning to use the Auto-Score Questionnaires feature, you can now define your % of Total Points Allocated during the creation stage. This can be done both when adding questions one by one or as a column in the bulk import (see Scoring Questionnaires - Video).

When adding questions one by one, you will need to check off the Define Auto-Scoring Response Options box in order to input these weights in the Add Question pop-up box. 


When using the bulk import feature, just make sure you have a column for the % of Total Points Allocation with the percentages separated by a comma. Make sure the order of your weights matches the order of your Vendor Response options. For example, if my Vendor Response Options are "Yes, No" and I want Yes to = 100% and No to = 0%, I would input "100,0" in my template. See example below:

2. Mapping the Questionnaire 

Once the Questionnaire template has been created, you now have to map it to the Requested Information so that the vendors have a slot they can upload the Questionnaire response into.

Before mapping the Questionnaire you will see a 'No' under the column Requested From Vendors as shown below:

To map the Questionnaire, go to the Requested Information section and click Manage:

When the modal opens click on Requested Questionnaire, and select the Questionnaire you would like to map:

Once you select the Questionnaire, the Questionnaire and all of its Question Sets will appear as shown below:

At this point you can select which Evaluation Group(s) will have read access to the Questionnaire. (Note: you can choose to map the whole Questionnaire to a certain Evaluation Group, or segment Question Sets among different groups.) 

Once the Questionnaire has been mapped, as shown above, it will be automatically be added to your list of Criteria. If you go to the Criteria section and click Manage you'll see the following:

The Questionnaire becomes a Criteria Group, with the criteria within each group being the Question Sets. This graphic better illustrates the structure of Questionnaires in Bonfire (see Criteria Groups).

A few things to note here:

  1. The Total Points shown for each Question Set is simply the sum of the points assigned to the Questions within it. For example, Vendor Experience had 10 questions, each worth 6 points, totaling 60 points.
  2. You have complete control over how much each Question Set is worth no matter how many Questions it contains. If Vendor Experience is deemed twice as important as Integrations, you simply enter double the number of points for Vendor Experience compared with Integrations.
  3. Since the Questionnaire is treated as a Criteria Group you can set the total number of points a Questionnaire just like any other Criteria. For example, if the Questionnaire was worth 40% of the total number of points, the Criteria would look like this: 

Don't forget to map the Question Sets to the appropriate Evaluation Group at this stage. If you wish to learn how to map individual questions to Evaluation Groups, check it out in our article here!

3. Vendors Response Template

Downloading the Vendor Response Worksheet

Once you reach this point you can download the Vendor Response Worksheet that vendors will use to submit their responses. Important: it's critical that vendors are given the worksheet provided by Bonfire, otherwise the side-by-side evaluation experience will not be attainable.  

Each Questionnaire created has a unique ID with a corresponding vendor response worksheet. If you delete a Questionnaire that you have already downloaded the response worksheet for, that response worksheet will no longer be usable, even if you re-upload the Questionnaire unchanged.

To download the worksheet, go to the Questionnaire section and under Actions, choose Download:

We do NOT recommend attaching the Excel file or embedding it in any documents as a means of distributing the template to your Vendors. The Submission Instructions document is the best way of distributing the template to your Vendor. The Submission Instructions will direct the Vendor to the Portal where the Questionnaire download link will be available.

In the case that you have custom instructions to provide to vendors that are related to the Questionnaire, you may wish to add these instructions to the Vendor Response Template directly (see Custom Questionnaire Instructions). This keeps everything in one place and makes it easy for vendors to access your instructions.

Here's an example of a vendor response template:

When it comes to submission time, the vendor simply uploads their response worksheet like any other document. Bonfire then takes their response, processes every answer, and displays all of the vendor responses side-by-side as shown earlier.

4. Editing your Questionnaire

You can edit a questionnaire at any time by selecting Edit in the Actions menu to the right of the Questionnaire you wish to edit. You no longer need to un-map a Questionnaire from Requested Information first in order to make edits. 

This will bring you back to the Questionnaire creation interface where you can make your changes. 

Please note, if there are work-in-progress or completed submissions when you chose to edit the Questionnaire, you will receive the following warning:

Notifications of any changes are not automatic. If your change requires action on the Vendor's part, we recommend issuing Public Notice for Vendors to download the updated template (see Public Notices).

If a Vendor is trying to upload an outdated template, they will receive an error message which prompts them to download the updated questionnaire template.

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